Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Conference Presenter Basics

Are you planning to speak at a conference anytime soon? If so, here are a few basic things to remember...

Before you begin speaking...

  • SEND your information. Your photo, presentation title and blurb, AV Requirements etc. DON'T wait for them to chase you! Be pro-active and make it easy for the organiser.
  • Write an introduction. Email it to the organiser and also print it out and take it with you. Make it fun and focussed more on your message than on you.
  • Take your presentation slides. Take it on a USB, and name it with YOUR name. Not just the conference name. Make sure it is the ONLY file on the USB to avoid confusion.
  • ARRIVE in the conference room early.
  • FIND OUT what has happened before your presentation and what will be happening afterwards.

Things to remember when on the stage...

  • Don't say, I'll get to that in a few minutes, or I'll speak about that later in my talk.
  • Don't read your slides.
  • Don't use someone else's material without attribution.
  • Do make the organiser look good. If authentic, praise them from the stage.
  • Do acknowledge the time remaining signs held up at the back of the room (or elsewhere). A nod will do.

And finally,

Make sure you know the actual finish time and length of talk, so you finish then, no matter what!


Matt Church


  1. Excellent advice as always, Matt. I think it all starts with genuine respect for the audience, the organisers and the other presenters.

    My advice to any speaker not prepared to do what you suggest is this: 'Just say 'No' in the first place, and let the gig go to someone who really values this opportunity.'

  2. Great advice Matt, thanks. MY top three conference presenter tips are compiled from my three biggest fails.
    1) Have something to say.
    2) Wear something that makes you look hot and feel hot, that's also comfortable so you can move with purpose and conviction and allow your movement punctuate your message.It's probably not a mini-skirt.
    3) Be a seductive carrot, not a know-it-all stick.